The following list presents the key features supported for Horizon Linux desktops.

Supported Features on Linux Desktops

Active Directory Integration
Instant-cloned desktops running the following Linux distributions can perform an offline domain join with Active Directory using PowerBroker Identity Services Open (PBISO).
  • Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/20.04
  • SLED/SLES 12.x
See the PowerBroker Identity Services Open (PBISO) Authentication section in Integrating Linux with Active Directory for more information.
Instant-cloned desktops running the following Linux distributions can perform an offline domain join with Active Directory using Samba.
  • Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/20.04
  • RHEL 7.3/8.0/8.1
Audio input redirection from a client host to a remote Linux desktop is supported. This feature is not based on the USB redirection function. If you want this feature enabled, you must select it during installation. You must select the system default audio in device "PulseAudio server (local)" in your application for the audio input. This feature is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 x64 with MATE or Gnome Flashback (Metacity) desktop environment
  • Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 x64 with MATE or Gnome Ubuntu desktop environment
  • RHEL 7.x Workstation x64 with KDE or Gnome desktop environment
  • RHEL 8.x Workstation x64 with Gnome desktop environment
  • SLED/SLES 12.x SP3
  • SLES 12.x SP5
Audio output redirection is supported. This feature is enabled by default. To disable this feature, you must set the RemoteDisplay.allowAudio option to false. When accessed using Chrome and Firefox browsers, VMWare Horizon HTML Access provides audio-out support for Linux desktops.
Automated Full-Clone Desktop Pool
You can create automated full-clone desktop pools for Linux desktops.
Client Drive Redirection
When you enable the Client Drive Redirection (CDR) feature, your local system's shared folders and drives become available for you to access. You use the tsclient folder that is located in your home directory in the remote Linux desktop. To use this feature, you must install the CDR components.
Clipboard Redirection
With the clipboard redirection feature, you can copy and paste a rich text or a plain text between a client host and a remote Linux desktop. You can set the copy/paste direction and the maximum text size using Horizon Agent options. This feature is enabled by default. You can disable it during installation.
FIPS 140-2 Mode
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 mode support, although not yet validated with the NIST Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP), is available for Linux desktops.

The Horizon 7 Agent for Linux implements cryptographic modules that are designed for FIPS 140-2 compliance. These modules were validated in operational environments listed in CMVP certificate #2839 and #2866, and were ported to this platform. However, the CAVP and CMVP testing requirement to include the new operational environments in VMware's NIST CAVP and CMVP certificates remains to be completed on the product roadmap.

Note: The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol version1.2 is required to support FIPS 140-2 mode.
Help Desk Tool
Horizon Help Desk Tool is a Web application that you can use to troubleshoot Linux desktop sessions. You can use Horizon Help Desk Tool to get the status of Horizon 7 user sessions and to perform troubleshooting and maintenance operations. See Using Horizon Help Desk Tool in Horizon Console.
Horizon Smart Policies
You can use VMware Dynamic Environment Manager™ 9.4 or later to create Horizon Smart Policies that control the behavior of the USB redirection, clipboard redirection, and client drive redirection features on specific remote Linux desktops. See Using Smart Policies.
H.264 Encoder and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)

H.264 and HEVC can improve the Blast Extreme performance for a Horizon desktop, especially under a low-bandwidth network. HEVC provides higher image quality than H.264 at the same bandwidth.

If the client system has both H.264 and HEVC turned off, Blast Extreme automatically falls back to JPEG/PNG encoding.

The H.264 and HEVC encoders include both hardware support and software encoder support. The hardware support has the following requirements.
  • The vGPU is configured with an NVIDIA graphics card. For specific requirements, see the video codec support matrix on
  • The NVIDIA driver 384 series or later is installed in the NVIDIA graphics card.

When the system meets the preceding requirements, Horizon Agent for Linux uses the hardware encoder. Otherwise, the software encoder is used.

Instant-Clone Floating Desktop Pool
You can create instant-clone floating desktop pools for Linux desktops. This feature is not supported on systems running CentOS.S
For more information, see Create an Instant-Clone Floating Desktop Pool for Linux.
K Desktop Environment
The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • CentOS 6.x/7.x
  • RHEL 6.x/7.x
  • Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/20.04
Keyboard Layout and Locale Synchronization
This feature specifies whether to synchronize a client's system locale and current keyboard layout with the Horizon Linux Agent desktops. When this setting is enabled or not configured, synchronization is allowed. When this setting is disabled, synchronization is not allowed.

This feature is supported only for VMware Horizon for Windows, and only for the English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese locales.

Lossless PNG
Images and videos that are generated on a desktop are rendered on the client device in a pixel-exact manner.
Manual Desktop Pool
Machine source.
  • Managed Virtual Machine - Machine source of the vCenter virtual machine. A managed virtual machine is supported for new and upgrade deployment.
  • Unmanaged Virtual Machine - Machine source of other sources. An unmanaged virtual machine is only supported when the upgrade is from an unmanaged virtual machine deployment.
Note: To ensure the best possible performance, do not use an unmanaged virtual machine.
MATE Desktop Environment
The MATE Desktop Environment is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • Ubuntu 18.04
  • Ubuntu 20.04
Multiple Monitors
  • vDGA/vGPU desktop supports a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 on four monitors.
  • 2D desktop on VMware vSphere® 6.0 or later supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 on four monitors or a maximum resolution of 2560x1600 on three monitors.

For Ubuntu 16.04/18.04/20.04, you must use Gnome, KDE, or the MATE desktop environment to use the multiple monitors feature. See for more information.

For SLES 12 SP1, you must use the default package with kernel level kernel-default-3.12.49-11.1. If you upgraded the package, the multi-monitor feature fails and the desktop is shown in one monitor.

Beginning with VMware Horizon HTML Access™ version 5.0, the multi-monitor feature is supported in Horizon 7 for Linux desktops.

Network Intelligence Support for VMware Blast

The Network Intelligence transport is supported for VMware Blast. This feature is enabled by default.

When User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is enabled, Blast establishes both Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and UDP connections. Based on the current network conditions, Blast dynamically selects one of the transports for transmitting data to provide the best user experience. For example, in a local area network, TCP performs better than UDP, and so Blast selects TCP to transport data. Similarly, in a wide area network (WAN), UDP performance is better than TCP and Blast selects the UDP transport in that environment.

If one of the inline components used does not support UDP, Blast establishes a TCP connection only. For example, if your connection is using the Blast Security Gateway component of the Horizon Connection Server or Security Server, only a TCP connection is established. Even if both client and agent enabled UDP, the connection uses TCP because Blast Security Gateway does not support UDP. If users are connecting from outside the corporate network, the UDP component requires the VMware Unified Access Gateway (formerly called Access Point), which supports UDP.

Use the following information to establish a UDP-based Blast connection.
  • If the client connects to a Linux desktop directly, enable the UDP in both the client and agent. UDP is enabled by default in both the client and agent.
  • If the client connects to a Linux desktop using Unified Access Gateway, enable UDP in the client, agent, and Unified Access Gateway.
Session Collaboration
With the Session Collaboration feature, users can invite other users to join an existing remote Linux desktop session, or you can join a collaborative session when you receive an invitation from another user. This feature is supported only on remote Linux desktops with the following Linux distributions installed.
  • Ubuntu 18.04/20.04 with Gnome Ubuntu desktop environment
  • RHEL 7.5 with Gnome Classic or KDE desktop environment
  • RHEL 7.6 or later with Gnome Classic desktop environment
  • RHEL 8.x with Gnome Classic desktop environment
Single Sign-on
Single sign-on (SSO) is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • RHEL 8.x/7.x/6.x Workstation x64
  • CentOS 8.x/7.x/6.x x64
  • SLED/SLES 12.x SP3/SP2/SP1
  • Ubuntu 20.04/18.04/16.04 x64
Smart Card Redirection
Smart card redirection is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • RHEL 8.x
  • RHEL 7.1 and later
  • RHEL 6.6 and later
  • Ubuntu 20.04/18.04/16.04
  • SLED/SLES 12.x SP3

This feature supports Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards and Common Access Cards (CAC). For more information, see Setting Up Smart Card Redirection.

True SSO Support
True SSO is supported on the following Linux distributions.
  • RHEL 7.x/8.x
  • CentOS 7.x/8.x
  • SLED/SLES 12.x SP3
  • Ubuntu 20.04/18.04/16.04

For more information, see Setting Up True SSO for Linux Desktops.

USB Redirection
The USB Redirection feature gives you access to locally attached USB devices from remote Linux desktops. You must install the USB Redirection components and USB VHCI driver kernel module to use the USB feature. Ensure that you have been granted sufficient privileges to use the USB device that you want to redirect.
3Dconnexion Mouse
To begin using your 3Dconnexion mouse, you must install the appropriate device driver and pair the mouse using the Connect USB Device menu on your Linux desktop.
3D Graphics
The 3D graphics feature supports the following combinations of Linux versions and graphics cards:
  • vDGA is supported on RHEL 6.x Workstation x64 with NVIDIA GRID K1 or K2 graphics cards.
  • vGPU is supported on certain Linux distributions with the appropriate NVIDIA graphics cards.
    Note: For information about the NVIDIA graphics cards and Linux distributions that support vGPU capabilities, see

Limitations of Linux Desktops and Desktop Pools

Linux desktops and desktop pools have the following limitations:

  • Virtual Printing, location-based printing, and Real-Time Video are not supported.
  • The VMware HTML Access file transfer feature is not supported.
Note: When a security server is used, port 22443 must be open in the internal firewall to allow traffic between the security server and the Linux desktop.